There are plenty of options for more comfortable and ergonomic office chairs out there. But, is there really going to be much of a difference between standard, aging chairs and the more expensive ones? If they include the right features, then the answer is an emphatic yes.
Before discussing chair features, it may help to emphasize how beneficial improved office furniture can be to the health of employees. Being sedentary was not part of the human experience until very recently, and therefore the human body does not react well to it. Since office employees do not really have much of a choice but to sit, they should be able to be seated as comfortably as possible to prevent immediate pain.
Better ergonomic office chairs can mean less health issues down the road too. If a chair cannot be height adjusted, the user may be looking at the computer screen from a bad position and typing improperly as well. This is a certain recipe for pain. Eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain, and more can be caused by long term use of bad chairs.
Of course, it all starts with the actual cushion that people will be sitting on. Good ergonomic office chairs will have a good mix of structure and softness. A seat cushion with too much give will cause stress on the back, while one that is too stiff will just make no one want to use them.
If a chair is not still uncomfortable or if someone feels that they need extra support, there are many seat cushions on the market made of different materials to suit everyone’s needs. Memory foam and gel are both common, and they help the body rely less on tailbone pressure, which is a major cause of lower back pain.
The most important part of having a safe and ergonomic chair is making sure it is adjustable. As mentioned above, being able to adjust the height of the chair allows for people of different heights to view the computer from the proper eye level (one’s head should be tilted down slightly while looking at the screen).
The arm and back rests should be adjustable as well. This modification will lead to a lower risk of carpal tunnel and other painful conditions from typing improperly. And the back rest will be able to adjust to an individual’s spine.
Along with adjusting the backrest, there should be enough padding in the back to allow someone to comfortably sit back on it as well. When the furniture is not ergonomic, it will encourage slouching, a big cause of chronic pain in office workers. Some actually come with a second rest specifically for the head/neck area for addition support.
Working in an office usually means hours upon hours spent seated. Ergonomic office chairs can make a huge difference in terms of both comfort and overall health. Consider the above features when looking for any new office furniture for the office or individuals.